b

Bhickman's Profile

Title Last Reply

The Purple Pig review and interviews

Hello - if you haven't been to the Purple Pig yet, I recommend you to do so. I had the chance to interview both Jimmy Bannos' (Jr. & Sr.) recently and invite you to read those interviews.

http://rocknrollghost.com

http://rocknrollghost.com/2010/05/28/...

http://rocknrollghost.com/2010/05/28/...

Thank you!

May 29, 2010
Bhickman in Chicago Area

Big Star taqueria & bar

The room is warm and inviting, much like chef/partner Paul Kahan’s other establishments Avec and The Publican. Lots of pale blond wood and a gentle, embracing ambiance. Big Star, first and foremost, is a bar, featuring a veritable who’s who of bourbons, whiskeys and tequilas. I’m not much of a drinker, but felt it right and proper to order something alcoholic. So I set my sights on a Sarsaparilla Springs, featuring Buffalo Trace bourbon and AJ Stephans root beer. To my tastes, it was a sharp and bitter swallow, but ultimately mellowed out. I’m a light-weight when it comes to drinking, so if you’re an imbiber, don’t let this deter you from checking out the place. For God’s sake, they’ve got $1 Schlitz beer! I mean, you can’t beat $1 beer, you just can’t. read the full review here: http://rocknrollghost.com/2010/01/28/...

and an interview with Paul Kahan - http://rocknrollghost.com/2010/01/28/...

Jan 30, 2010
Bhickman in Chicago Area

Recommendations for Chinatown

We ended up going with House of Fortune and spending a lovely afternoon walking around Chinatown going into stores (I bought a candy thermometer and my son bought a ton of Asian candy).

Very quiet (we were there about as it opened), very clean and incredibly good service. The food was terrific as well. Giant portions, well priced and delicious.

We started with the Spring Rolls (which are actually egg rolls filled with vegetables, shrimp and chicken) and the BBQ Pork. My son made the mistake of dipping too much of the roll into the mustard sauce.

We then ordered sweet & sour pork (my wife's choice), Singapore Noodles (all of us agreed on that one), Mongolian Beef (my son's choice) and Crispy Skin Chicken (my choice).

All of it was great. The Mongolian Beef and Crispy skin chicken being the best of the bunch, imo.

I'd actually go out of my way to go there again.

May 18, 2009
Bhickman in Chicago Area

Recommendations for Chinatown

Also, what about Dim Sum? Anyone do this exceptionally well on Sundays? Isn't that the traditional day it's served?

May 11, 2009
Bhickman in Chicago Area

Recommendations for Chinatown

Probably looking for milder - eventually I'd like to try more places myself, but I'm a bit more adventurous than my family is.

Thanks for the recommendations and keep them coming.

May 11, 2009
Bhickman in Chicago Area

Recommendations for Chinatown

Hey there - to celebrate my wife's birthday, my son's high school graduation and the families desire to visit Chinatown finally after all these years, we've settled on eating somewhere this coming Sunday.

Wanted to know what sort of recommendations people have there?

To give you a way to narrow suggestions, my wife and son are not as adventurous as I am, so the menu should be rooted in what Americans traditionally know from Chinese restaurants, but be a bit on the exceptional side with some adventure mixed in. Nothing cheap, but not high end, either. Not looking for a place that has the best "foams" and "reductions" (my poor attempt at humor) or the chic-est decor. Just good food served well.

Thanks in advance - you guys have always been a great barometer.

May 11, 2009
Bhickman in Chicago Area

Suggestions for near the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, WI

I'm pretty open - just something close and not too expensive.

Apr 15, 2009
Bhickman in General Midwest Archive

Suggestions for near the Pabst Theater in Milwaukee, WI

I'm going into Milwaukee tonight for the Wilco concert at the Pabst Theater and was curious if anyone had any dining suggestions nearby the theater?

Thanks!

Apr 15, 2009
Bhickman in General Midwest Archive

Best "Muff" and Oyster Po'Boy

I don't have a lot of experience in the area, but Central Grocery Co.'s "Muff" was out of this world good. I'm not an olive fan (love olive oil, not olives), so I just picked those off and ate the carrots and cauliflower. But the sandwich was really damn good. Beware, the owners/workers have little to no personality it seems and almost have disdain for their customers.

The oyster/Shrimp po' boy I had at ACME was great. I loved the crunchiness of the fried part and the juiciness of the seafood, the roll was tender and crusty and the tabasco flavored mayo worked perfectly with the rest of the sandwich.

Apr 06, 2009
Bhickman in New Orleans

Need Recommendations : Visiting late-March/Early-April

Okay - The first day there we went to Blue City Cafe for ribs - I wasn't all that impressed with the ribs, they were tender, but served a bit on the "cool" side. My wife and son loved them, though.

We also tried fried green tomatoes at some small place right across the street and the seafood au gratin at another place on the corner of second and Beale (I'd have to look over our receipts to remember the names). Neither of these places was all that great, either. In fact, at the second one, the bus boy kept running around trying to take everyone's plates while they were still eating.

The next day we ate breakfast at Krystal's to my insistence and that was a mistake. A mistake I paid for down the line.

But lunch was fantastic! We did Gus's and my God was it divine. That is hands down some of the best fried chicken I've ever had and trust me, I know my fried chicken.

We wanted to try Rendezvous the first day we were there, but didn't realize it was closed on Mondays. We ended up making it there on Friday on our way back from New Orleans.

However, I deeply regret doing so. I was incredibly disappointed by Rendezvous. The crust on the ribs was like tree bark and way too much spice was thrown on top of the ribs. My family hated it and I was shamed and disappointed.

However, Memphis was a lovely city, one I would consider going back for a visit soon. The people there were a delight as well.

Thanks everyone for your suggestions! I can't wait until my next trip!

Apr 06, 2009
Bhickman in General South Archive

Need Recommendations : Visiting late-March/Early-April

Hey! Thanks to all of you for your suggestions! I wish I had had more time while in NOLA to try more. We didn't go anywhere we couldn't get into without casual clothes, so next time I'm bringing some fancier duds to go to Commander's Palace, Brigsten's, etc.

My favorite places in NOLA were ACME Oyster House (loved the oysters and the oyster/shrimp po' boy) and Cafe Du Monde. And the "Muff" at Central Grocery Co. was fantastic! My family and I shared that on a picnic bench at Oak Alley Plantation.

My wife's friend insisted we go to the Gumbo Shop and that was a disappointment for me and her, but our son loved the crawfish etouffee.

I didn't get to go to Parkways because of it being mostly po' boys and my son not liking his roast beef po' boy from Acme.

We also went to some Cheesecake Bistro our first night there because we were beat from the road and it was right near where we were staying.

I don't feel I took full advantage of my time, but insist I will be going back. I also am bummed that I missed an opportunity to interview Stephen from Cochon while down there, but I'll be conducting a phone interview with him soon.

Thanks again for the suggestions!

Apr 06, 2009
Bhickman in New Orleans

The Best restaurant scene in a Movie set in New Orleans

Wasn't a restaurant, but near the end of Angel Heart with Mickey Rourke, the local rich man was stirring up a big pot of gumbo, throwing a crab in for effect. What happens to the guy and the gumbo is a spoiler.

and yeah, the gumbo Quaid at in The Big Easy looked good. Man, I love those two movies.

Mar 24, 2009
Bhickman in New Orleans

Need Recommendations : Visiting late-March/Early-April

Just read an article in Gourmet (?) about Parkways Bakery & Tavern. Sounds like that's a real obvious one after reading the article.

Mar 23, 2009
Bhickman in New Orleans

Commander's Palace lunch...

the 25 Cent martinis are real??? That seems unbelievably inexpensive.

Mar 23, 2009
Bhickman in New Orleans

Need Recommendations : Visiting late-March/Early-April

cajunfoodie & kookycanuck - just looked over Rendezvous and that will definitely be in our plans. Thanks!

cajunfoodie - are you actually in New Orleans?

Mar 17, 2009
Bhickman in New Orleans

Need Recommendations : Visiting late-March/Early-April

Brigtsen's looks great. Nice suggestion.

Mar 17, 2009
Bhickman in New Orleans

Need Recommendations : Visiting late-March/Early-April

thanks! we just narrowed the trip down today to just include Memphis & New Orleans, with the bulk of the trip spent in New Orleans. I cannot wait.

Mar 16, 2009
Bhickman in New Orleans

Need Recommendations : Visiting late-March/Early-April

actually - we're sort of narrowing the focus down : just Memphis and New Orleans now. LoL. Plans change quick!

Mar 16, 2009
Bhickman in General South Archive

Need Recommendations : Visiting late-March/Early-April

These are some great suggestions! Thanks!

Less than 2 weeks we'll be in Crescent City. I cannot wait. Just watched the new concert film by the Chicago rock band Wilco and they have some performances at Tipitina's. Would love to be able to see a show at that legendary venue while we're there.

Mar 16, 2009
Bhickman in New Orleans

Need Recommendations : Visiting late-March/Early-April

Hey there. My family and I are planning a trip through a large swath of the south (Memphis, TN to New Orleans, LA to Savannah & Atlanta, GA to Nashville, TN and then back to Chicago) and I'm looking for recommendations on places to eat.

What I'm looking for is solid, small places to try the best the city has to offer. We aren't looking for posh, but real food of the city. We're the sort of people that would bristle at the notion of going to a national chain when visiting another city, so don't be shy.

Also looking for good places to check out. My son and I are really into music and my wife is into art.

Looking to try the best in BBQ mainly, but will take on other suggestions.

Thanks in advance!

PS: I have a thread started specific to New Orleans (http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/594472) but if you have recommendations that you don't see there, by all means, let me know.

Mar 16, 2009
Bhickman in General South Archive

Pastrami - Thick, Spiced, Buttery Fat

Man - after seeing Katz's deli in NYC on both No Reservations and Man Vs. Food I so want a Pastrami sandwich. I have to find one this weekend and this thread will help.

Feb 27, 2009
Bhickman in Chicago Area

Need Recommendations : Visiting late-March/Early-April

Hey there. My family and I are planning a trip through a large swath of the south (Tennessee to Louisiana to Georgia to Tennessee and then back to Chicago) and I'm looking for recommendations on places to eat.

What I'm looking for is solid, small places to try the best the city has to offer. We aren't looking for posh, but real food of the city. We're the sort of people that would bristle at the notion of going to a national chain when visiting another city, so don't be shy.

Looking to try authentic gumbo, etouffee, po' boys, alligator, crawfish, pork, the whole bit.

Thanks in advance!

Feb 08, 2009
Bhickman in New Orleans

Top 3 Hot Dogs

Finally went to Hot Doug's yesterday with my wife. Amazing. Truly. We ordered a bunch (I skipped breakfast and ended up having a bowl of cereal for dinner to justify the amount).

One regular dog
One corn dog
One Paul Kelly (bratwurst)
One Foie Gras dog
One Alligator dog

it was my first experience with foie gras but it won't be my last. I wasn't insane about the duck sausage itself - there was a taste to it that I could not for the life of me pin down. It was good, but I don't know if I'd order it again.

The alligator dog is incredible. rich and spicy.

the regular dog is impeccable. my wife ordered the corndog and the bratwurst and I only sampled the brat. best I've ever had. flavorful..more so than I even expected.

the best was the duck fat fries ... never thought I'd ever try Hot Doug's, been meaning to for years and it finally took seeing it on Bourdain's show for me to make sure I did. Even waiting for an hour - and - a -half was worth it. Fantastic place.

Feb 08, 2009
Bhickman in Chicago Area

Looking for any unturned stones in or near Gurnee

My wife and I went to Kawa (sushi and stone grill) in Grayslake last night and, despite some issues with the layout (and the lack of clientele - I always feel bad for that), the food was very good.

For my entree, I ordered the "sushi deluxe" which was various cuts of fresh fish (tuna, salmon, yellowtail) over sushi rice and then a spicy tuna roll with the requisite miso soup (best I've had and my wife concurred) and salad. The fish were good in size and wonderful in taste. Fresh as you can seemingly get this way.

I also tried the "Rock Shrimp Tempura" appetizer - shrimp tempura in this delectably rich and creamy mustard aioli. Absolutely stunning.

My wife went a little bit off the beaten path by ordering their version of pad thai (w/chicken) and a California roll (her personal favorite).

The pad thai was very good as I had a little sample. There were wedges of something on the top that neither my wife nor I could surmise as to what it was. I was certain it was tofu, but my wife had the idea in her head it was some sort of sweet cheese. Either way, I could have eaten an entree of just this mystery topping. Turned out it was omelette cut up in interesting triangular pieces. Now, I hate eggs. Despise them, in fact. I can deal with french toast and will eat the small pieces of egg in Singapore Noodles or pad thai, but this was out of this world good. For a hater of eggs to like what they served said something to me.

The only low point was the service. It wasn't terrible, just a bit all over the place. Asked for a fork for my wife for her pad thai (she feels chopsticks are pretentious and delights in mocking me for using them) twice to two different busboys before getting one. And the waiter was a bit lax, however, he appeared to be the only one dealing with six tables of customers.

But for the food, I recommend Kawa highly. Also, if you like something a little more "home-y", nearby is my wife and my favorite local sushi place I Love Sushi. Their sushi is the best thing, while the entrees are just good. They do a lot of specialty rolls but my favorite their tends to be anything with spicy tuna and the Godzilla roll.

Kawa Japanese Restaurant
100 S Atkinson Rd, Grayslake, IL 60030-7817
Contact Phone: (847) 548-3838

I Love Sushi
(847) 543-1234
Grayslake, IL 60030
http://local.yahoo.com/info-37879867-...

Jan 18, 2009
Bhickman in Chicago Area

Good, Reasonably priced restaurants in Evanston

That is an awesome, deep post about Evanston place nsxtasy! Thank you!!!

Jan 08, 2009
Bhickman in Chicago Area

Good, Reasonably priced restaurants in Evanston

the biggest gripe about that Miller's is that it used to be Crawdaddy Bayou and my family lived blocks from there and that was literally our favorite place to go.

Jan 08, 2009
Bhickman in Chicago Area

Good, Reasonably priced restaurants in Evanston

There's a Pete Miller's in Lincolnshire/Wheeling that my in-laws went to and were extremely unimpressed with - comparing the price with the food they got.

but these are some very good suggestions. Thanks!

Jan 08, 2009
Bhickman in Chicago Area

Good, Reasonably priced restaurants in Evanston

Looking for either Italian, Seafood or general "American" fare in Evanston that isn't cheap, but not exorbitant, either. Oceanique seems out of my wife's desires based on the menu, but I'd love to hear some thoughts from you fine foodies.

Thanks!

Jan 08, 2009
Bhickman in Chicago Area

Best Sushi Restaurant/Bar For Toro?

oooh....yellowtail jaw sounds good. I keep hearing how the head of the fish is so much better than the rest, too. Thanks for the suggestion on Katsu.

May 17, 2008
Bhickman in Chicago Area

Wheeling Chow?

It would be nice if Crawdaddy bayou was still in the Pete Miller spot. That place was always excellent. I used to live three blocks from there and it was a sad day in my household when they unexpectedly closed.

I honestly never went to any of the other restaurants while living there. I wanted to go to La Francais, but I could never convince my wife to do so.

May 17, 2008
Bhickman in Chicago Area